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A Copywriter’s Blog
3 Times A Lady Author Ben Levy 4, July

Got so excited about the kid, I almost forgot about the book:

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Before I wrote the Owl Book, I did a lot of research. Went to a lot of bookstores. Read a lot of cardboard-backed bestsellers.

But, guys. Nothing, I mean nothing, is going to prepare you for children’s book writing like owning an actual child. I have read, on average, 4-to-4-bazillion baby books a night for the last two years. I can recite “Are You A Cow?” and “Click Clack Moo” and even “The Wonderful Sounds Mr. Brown Can Do” by heart.

So when it came time to write another one, the only preparation involved was figuring out where I was going to get the time to illustrate it.

I’m really proud of this book. I love how it came out. I want to share it with people. So I’m releasing a free pdf copy right here.

Literally. Click right here and get a free pdf of my latest children’s book.

And if you do love it so much you want it in book form,click here.

And to answer an FAQ- Yes, a Coo (or Cou) is a real creature. I discovered them on a family trip to Scotland years ago. I thought the name sounded fun. It still does.

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Pre-press Ben Levy 24, April

If you’re wondering why I haven’t pushed the “Owl Book” more, it’s because I’ve discovered it is fucking expensive to print color. It’s looking like this 24-page book is going to cost something like $15. That’s ridiculous, but it’s a whole other order of magnitude on the ridiculous scale when you realize my last book was 100 pages and sold for $10. What the hell do they make color ink out of anyway? Baby harp seals?

With shipping, it cost me an absurd amount to get my proof copy from Blurb. Something like $22, after coupons. The printing is gorgeous, and the quality is amazing, but I can’t even sell that to people “at cost” with a straight face. I found a way to shave at least $3 off the base price with Lulu, but for some reason their book upload process shits the bed when faced with CMYK files, and all my colors turned neon.

As interesting as my new book about a radioactive owl was, it’s not quite what I had in mind. As was evidenced by my stream of consciousness tweets.

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Don’t worry, the neighbors don’t even have a cat. (any more)

So I converted everything, and now I’m going to sit here wondering what the hell the colors in this book will actually be when it shows up on my doorstep in a week. And then, if it looks as good as it should, I’ll put up a site and pimp this owl properly*.

If you people didn’t keep liking this stupid shit I do, I wouldn’t have to go to all this trouble.

Thanks for that.

*I am totally going to start a gameshow called Pimp this Owl Properly. Who’s with me?
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Signs of the times Ben Levy 11, April

It’s interesting that the busier I am, the less time I waste spend talking about what I’m doing. I mean, I finished my second book over a week ago, and I’m just posting about it now. (I just dropped that shit like it was nothing, didn’t I? That’s how we experienced authors roll, bitches.)

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The proof copy did just come in this evening, so that’s part of my excuse. I had it as an iBook on The Wife’s iPad as soon as the pages were done, but there’s something special about holding a physical copy. I don’t even know if I’m going to make the physical one available for purchase (all the color options I’m finding are laughably expensive) but I’m glad I have one for myself. Maybe I’ll do a limited run or something.

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Why’d I do this, you ask? Because the only thing I could think of that would screw with people’s heads more than being “the guy who wrote the dick book” was to be “the guy who wrote the dick book and a children’s book.” Also, it was because I felt the need to do something really special for my unborn daughter, something that we could share even before I knew what she was like. But don’t tell people that. It’ll totally ruin my street cred.

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So, maybe I’m a slightly more legitimate not-at-all-legitimate author now. That’s two books. Neither of which have what you’d call plot, exactly. And they’re surprisingly heavy on illustration for a guy who dropped out of graphic design in college, and claims to be a professional writer. But still, they’re books. I’m pretty proud of them.

Like I said, I’m not sure what the sales options will be like for this one. I see a few very minor tweaks I’d like to make to the physical version, and there’s been a surprising amount of talk regarding board-books and plush Little Owls. There’ll definitely be an iBook version out, but I need to make those tweaks first.

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